As the 50th running of the Daytona 24 hour nears, the organizers are working on a very special display to commemorate the anniversary of that first race in 1962. In attempting to assemble a large percentage of the cars that had formerly been victorious in the annual endurance, those behind the scenes have discovered that three of them are unaccounted for. At the risk of sounding like a bad Ashton Kutcher film; Dude, where’s my Daytona 24 hour winner?
The first car on the list is a Ferrari. Not just any Ferrari, but the screaming 333SP prototype. Victorious in 1998, the Triple Three was driven by Didier Theys, Mauro Baldi, Arie Luyendyk, and Gianpiero Moretti. Not only did the quartet win the 24 hours at Daytona, less Luyendyk, they also won the 12 hours of Sebring in the same car.
After the season was over, the team sold the car to Charles Arnott. Mr. Arnott held the car (serial number 333SP-019) until 2003 when he traded a group of cars, this one included, for the opportunity to own Ferrar 250 GTO sn# 3445GT. From there, it is unknown to whom the car was traded, and has not been heard or seen since.
The second car in question is the Interscope Racing number 0 which won the 24 hour event in 1979 at the hands of Hurley Haywood on his way to a fourth victory of the five he would eventually win, Danny “On-The-Gas” Ongais, and team owner Ted Field. The car, serial number 990-029, was received by the team with only two weeks to spare before the season opening Daytona race. With a relatively unchanged setup from as-delivered, the team still managed to win. Ongais had to nurse the car for the final stint with a failing turbocharger, but had built up enough of a lead that he was able to take the checkered flag at a modest 20 miles per hour. The car was prepped and fielded for the remainder of the 1979 IMSA GT season, though was lightly crashed at the 6 hours of Watkins Glen and retired shortly thereafter. There are currently no leads as to the car’s wherabouts.
The final racer in question is possibly the most famous of the three, and certainly the one that is most desired to view by this “
journalist” hack. As raced in Carmen San Diego Crimson, the 1972 victor, a Ferrari 312PB driven by factory drivers and legends alike Jacky Ickx and Mario Andretti. This pairing, in this same car, would also win Sebring in 72, proving that Daytona (shortened to 6 hours for 1972′s World Championship for makes) was no single race fluke.
This 312PB, a 3 liter twelve cylinder open cockpit racer, serial numbered 0888 was enrolled in an event at the Le Mans circuit in France back in 2007. As far as I can tell, it has not been seen since.
An official hotline number (386) 681-5343 and e-mail Rolex24cars@daytonainternationalspeedway.com have been set up and those with information on the location of these cars are encouraged to contact the speedway.
Thus far, Daytona International Speedway has announced the following championship cars that will be part of this unique, one-of-a-kind display to celebrate the 50th Rolex 24 At Daytona:
- The No. 96 Arciero Racing Lotus-Climax 19B from the inaugural Rolex 24 (then known as the Daytona Continental) in 1962
- 1966 Rolex 24-winning No. 98 Ford GT Mark II
- 1968 Rolex 24-winning Porsche 907
- 1969 Rolex24-winning No. 6 Lola T70 Chevrolet
- 1970 Rolex 24-winning No. 2 Gulf Porsche 917
- 1977 Rolex 24-winning No. 43 Porsche 911 RSR
- 1981 Rolex 24-winning No. 9 Bob Garretson’s Style Auto Porsche 935
- 1982 Rolex 24-winning No. 18 JLP Porsche 935
- The Preston Henn Porsches from the 1983 and 1985 Rolex 24s
- 1984 Rolex 24-winning No. 00 Kreepy Krauly Porsche-March
- 1993 Rolex 24-winning No. 98 Eagle GTP
- 1994 Rolex 24-winning No. 76 Nissan 300ZX-Turbo
Additional cars will be announced as part of this one-of-a-kind display.